The Stolen Man, Victory Episode 6-5
(S.M. Table of Contents)
You are tired of the dance. You confront him as directly as possible.
“Well if I interrogated you it was only because you were lying to me.”
“That I was. All the time, and mostly because you wanted me to. I think that’s what bothered you most though, the fact that I could do it. At least some of the time. “
“How are you able…”
“Remember, you wanted to believe me. That made it easier. Until you suddenly didn’t anymore. Suddenly you had to know the truth.”
“That You were sleeping with my wife! Stealing her from me.”
Dan shakes his head and rolls his eyes like you are a ridiculous teenager accusing him of ruining your life….which perhaps he did.
“That again?! No, don’t you get it. That’s what you thought was happening, probably what you wanted to believe. Yeah, I was lying to you, and it was to protect you, but it had nothing to do with your wife. It was the other…” Dan stops, sizing you up.
Two things strike you strongly at this moment. One is that Dan is telling you the truth as far as he went. He wasn’t sleeping with you wife. Two, he stopped short of telling you something because it terrified him for you to know. What could it be? If it wasn’t an affair, what would he lie about, what was he keeping from you? What would make you furious enough to kill, or at least to order the kill. To order a kill.. Had you been doing it all along without knowing it. Erasing innocent lives for money, and when that wasn’t enough ordering their murder? Amazingly part of you longs for the very identity crisis you so recently were fighting to overcome. What happened? What did you find out?
“What Dan? What was it?”
“Nope. Not this time. It ruined you. Ruined us. Just about brought down the entire empire hear. There’s still time Troy My boy. We can pick up the pieces. You wanted to forget and forget you did. Let’s just go back to the way it was. We can be more selective about our clientelle, you can agree again not to know what I do when I do it. It was a lucrative arrangement Troy. Perhaps you’ve forgotten that too.”
You are shaking your head. He can’t be serious. Something changed. Forever. Once upon a time you could look the other way, you willing slid, perhaps even ran down the slippery slope, but something happened. Something terrible. You look up at Dan. He’s got the key to it all.
You move toward Dan so aggressively, that he actually looks afraid. It is only this, realizing how terrified he is of you that makes you pause long enough for Dan to back towards the door.
“Not again, Troy. Really Not again. I won’t go through it again. I won’t.;”
“Then just tell me Dan. What is it I found out the first time. “
“I can’t. You’ll kill me. or erase me. I can’t have that. Not again.”
Pieces flash across your mind. Synapse by synapse your amazing brain is healing itself, memories returning. You did interrogate Dan. You used the machine and every trick you could think of. You did things that even now you try to block out as the come pouring back. You remember the questions. You remember the probing but still not the outcome. Once you realized Dan and Helen were not having an affair, you could have let him go, but you didn’t. He was hiding something, he had to be and you knew it. You began to realize, as you do now, just through the memory, that Dan had been killing people, at your behest, he said. You denied it then and would like to deny it now, but you knew he was right. There were questions you refused to ask. Things you preferred not to know. You, who even now, (in your memories) was torturing your friend just to find out what he knew that you didn’t. You who even now, in the present, was prepared to do it again.
Dan turns from the room and runs down the hallway. You laugh in a voice you recogniz as Dr. Sexton’s but not your own and winking incongruously at Lorelei, you follow him out the door. Lorelei stands stunned for a moment (you’ve never seen her that way) and then races out after you, “Ok Bossman so that’s how it is. You want him alive?”
“For now,” you say, your voice hardening in a way that scares you.